Carotenoids are pigments that are naturally found in many different fruits, vegetables, algae and plants. They are powerful antioxidants, widely known for their numerous health benefits, particularly for the eyes, cardiovascular system and skin. The health benefits of carotenoids have been the subject of many scientific research studies. Nonetheless, the results are sometimes disputed. What is the current position? Overview of research by Eggersdorfer & Wyss.
Published in 2018 in the scientific journal Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, the study conducted by Eggersdorfer & Wyss  provides an overview of the health benefits of carotenoids identified in scientific literature.
Before we look more closely at this data, do you know why you should consume carotenoids and how best to do so?
Carotenoids are a family of fat-soluble substances, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenoid) mainly composed of beta-carotene, astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Although carotenoids are found in most fruit and vegetables, they cannot be synthesised by the human body . This is why it is important to consume these substances from external sources, either in food or dietary supplements.
In the diet, carotenoids are found in most colored fruits and green leafy vegetables. For example, beta-carotene is found in carrots, oranges, broccoli and spinach. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in kale, zucchini, broccoli, peas and kiwi. For lycopene, tomatoes, watermelon and guava are particularly recommended. But carotenoids are also found in sweet potatoes and certain types of squash. The only exception is astaxanthin, which is only found in crustaceans or microscopic algae. Carotenoids can also be consumed in the form of food supplements. For astaxanthin, for example, capsules are practical, because you would have to eat too much shellfish to get a sufficient dose of this carotenoid. If some dietary supplements provide a supplementation in carotenoids in the broad sense, others are more targeted. In particular, there are dietary supplements containing beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin or lycopene.
The ideal would be to eat a diet rich in carotenoids while also consuming more targeted dietary supplements, based on specific needs.
It is important to consume carotenoids because the human body is unable to synthesise them. But what health benefits do carotenoids offer?
Studies on the health benefits of carotenoids are sometimes contradictory. To get a clearer picture, we can look to the research conducted by Eggersdorfer & Wyss , which highlights the properties and roles of carotenoids identified in scientific literature.
According to this research, carotenoids may affect human health in several ways, particularly through their antioxidant properties, but also through other mechanisms.
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